MBA helps army officer thrive in business

Mick Humphreys
Mick Humphreys

Former Australian infantry officer Mick Humphreys used his Southern Cross University MBA to transform himself from a battlefield leader into a business leader.

Mick, who leads the North Asian outbound investments arm of Control Risks, a global risk consultancy, said the MBA was a key part of his preparation to return to civilian life.

“I knew I wouldn’t stay in the army forever and I wanted to equip myself for a career in business, so the MBA was a great option,” Mick said.

“I needed skills such as financial planning, as well as an understanding of business law and marketing, which I hadn’t picked up in the army.”

Mick said his MBA has provided him with knowledge that was invaluable in his new Shanghai-based role.

“The MBA taught me the importance culture plays in transnational management and marketing,” Mick said.

“In China people won’t do business with you until they get to know you. You need to build up trust. I picked up methodologies that will help me achieve that from very experienced lecturers and other students at SCU.”

Control Risk provides market entry and change assessment, risk governance and crisis management for Chinese and South Korean companies investing offshore. This allows them to make well-informed business decisions and to manage political, regulatory and security challenges.

“We also provide due diligence on their business partners – is what they say about themselves true; are they as connected as they say; are they corrupt; will the relationship really enhance the business opportunity,” Mick said.

“And we help when things go wrong, providing advice to clients on how to protect employees, assets, information, supply chains and most importantly, the reputations of business leaders in a crisis.”

Mick’s decision to do an MBA has paid off handsomely. While many military personnel struggle to make the transition into the civilian workforce, Mick secured a leadership role in a stimulating industry in the world’s fastest growing economy.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (